This week the letter is H. H is for Herbert A. Littleton.
Herbert A. Littleton was a United States Marine who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for falling on a grenade during the Korean War.
Littleton, was born on July 1, 1930, in Mena, Arkansas. He enlisting in the Marine Corps Reserve on July 29, 1948, for a one-year term. After the outbreak of the Korean War, Littleton reenlisted in the Marine Corps. He went to Korea with the 3rd Replacement Draft, fighting in South and Central Korean operations from December 17, 1950 until his death.
Littleton earned the nation's highest award for valor on April 22, 1951, at Chungehon. At the time he was serving as a Radio Operator with the First Marine Division. Littleton was standing watch when a large well-concealed enemy force launched a night attack from nearby positions against his company. PFC Littleton quickly alerted the forward observation team and immediately moved into position to assist in calling down artillery fire on the enemy force. When an enemy hand grenade was thrown into his vantage point shortly after the arrival of the remainder of the team, he threw himself on the grenade, absorbing its full impact with his own body. By his prompt action he saved the other members of his team from serious injury or death and enabled them to repulse the enemy attack. For his valor in the face of certain death Herbert A. Littleton was awarded the Medal of Honor.
The Herbert A. Littleton Detachment 1261 of the Marine Corps League is named in his honor. It is composed of Marines and former Marines with honorable service. Some of their current projects are the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots, assisting the Salvation Army with fundraising efforts, and the annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball.
The Marine Corps League was instrumental in the installation and dedication of the Herbert A. Littleton Memorial at the Polk County Courthouse here in Mena.
On September 12, 2009 approximately 1,000 people gathered in Mena, Arkansas to honor the selfless service represented by Herbert A. Littleton. An Unveiling Ceremony took place in which a Memorial to Marine PFC Littleton was unveiled. The memorial displays an image of PFC Littleton, his Medal of Honor and a citation by the President of the United States that states the deeds for which PFC Littleton received the Medal of Honor.
Herbert A. Littleton and the unselfish choices he made serve as an example to lead and inspire us both as individuals and as a people. He was an extraordinary ordinary American.
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